As with every TSTD edition, these are ambitious musicians, crafting rather astonishing chansons, just ones you might have missed. Dirty Gainsbourg-ienne basslines underpin aching melodies and sensual grooves. Guitars shimmer under imaginary disco balls. Saxophones wail (you know how we love them), basses are proudly slapped and even there’s the occasional, knowing use of Autotune.
For these are the grandkids of the Nouvelle Vague, Michel Legrand, François de Roubaix, Serge Gainsbourg, Les Jeunes Gens Modernes and the giants of the French Touch. They sing en Francais or with those terribly charming English accents, just as the mood and the material takes them. They’re boys and girls. Duos (Bleu Toucan, Poom, Magnüm or Weekend Affair…), bands (L’Impératrice, Cléa Vincent and her friends), collectives (the elusive Catastrophe) or solo artists (Jean Tonique, Lomboy, Chassol, Saint DX…). And even when they’re partying there are little darts of melancholy, nods to loves denied or dramatised.
Au retour a l’avenir
So welcome back to France – chic but not Chic, yet always ready to dance. The best music is always a patchwork of ideas, borrowed, reinterpreted and remade. A long-distance love affair between artists who never get to meet. So this latest volume is a French kiss, looking out over the bay in Cannes. Sip the wine, blur your eyes, and it could almost be L.A..
How Do You Are?/Too Slow To Disco